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International conference to explore health of descendants of transatlantic slave trade

On July 5-8, 2012, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health will host the first major international conference on the health of the descendants of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The International Conference on Health in the African Diaspora ICHAD 2012 will explore the health status of people of African descent living throughout the Western Hemisphere from Canada to Argentina. Today, there are approximately 160 million African descendants of the Transatlantic Slave Trade living across the region.

Organized by the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, ICHAD 2012 will convene at the Baltimore Renaissance Harborplace Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. The multidisciplinary conference will focus on more than a dozen countries, including Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Jamaica, Peru, United States, and Venezuela.

During the Transatlantic Slave Trade, African captives were shipped across the Atlantic and dispersed widely throughout North America, Latin America and the Caribbean. The demise of slavery was promptly followed by regional patterns of racial marginalization.

Today, roughly 3 out of 4 blacks in the region live south of the U.S. border. Throughout the region, people of African descent tend to be poorer and sicker, receive less health care and a lower quality of care, and die younger than the general population. Afro-Brazilians are twice as likely to live in poverty compared to the general population. In Colombia, babies of African descent are twice as likely to die before their first birthday compared to the national average. The same pattern holds true for African-American babies in the United States.

ICHAD 2012 keynote speakers include Sir George Alleyne, PAHO Emeritus, the Honorable Donna Christensen, U.S. House of Representatives (Virgin Islands), the Honorable Elijah E. Cummings, U.S. House of Representatives (Maryland), and Dr. Gail Christopher, Vice President, W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Funded in part by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, ICHAD 2012 recently announced over 30 featured presenters from major US and international organizations and institutions, including:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Harvard Medical School
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)
  • Organization of American States
  • Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
  • University of the Southern Caribbean
  • University of Toronto

For a full list of presenters and more, visit


Contact: Tim Parsons
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

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